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Nicolas Beaulieu

Senior Perfumer
International Flavors & Fragrances

© Michael Avedon
© Michael Avedon

Certain encounters can change your life. When he was only fourteen and wanted to become and archaeologist, a career guidance counsellor suggested that Nicolas Beaulieu follow an olfactory path, an indication that suddenly became resoundingly obvious. Portrait of a man who enjoys the good things in life, and passionate about wine, cookery and history.


Brought up in a house with a large garden, young Nicolas spent his Wednesday afternoons cutting the grass or watching flowers grow, lulled by the operas his parents loved so much.
“I spent most of my time smelling the things around me,” he remembers. “The fragrance of the garden, my mother’s too but also the enveloping smell of my grandmother’s house redolent of Arpège by Lanvin.” Having never heard of perfumers, passionate about ancient monuments and history, he decided to become an archaeologist until the day he met the guidance counsellor who told him about Isipca, the French school of perfumery. Nicolas visited the school at the occasion of an open day and came out wanting just one thing: to become a perfumer.

He integrates the prestigious Isipca. Once graduated, he joined the IFF perfumery school and settled in Holland.
Then, Nicolas expatriated to New York, then to Shanghai which he remembers as very exuberant, Nicolas Beaulieu returned to Paris in 2008 to embark on new creations.


He goes to oenology workshops whenever he can, and is an informed wine amateur, very fond of talking with wine specialists. “We use the same vocabulary except that oenologists are much more subtle. For example, when they say a wine is woody, they talk about humus, not patchouli.”
Delicate nuances which nourish his inspiration as a perfumer and make him want to work with wines. Crazy about Burgundy and Meursault in particular, what he likes most is their almost smoky vanilla base, and their light note of tonka bean.


Greatly influenced by his training at the Laboratoires Monique Rémy (LMR, an IFF subsidiary), Nicolas Beaulieu remembers well the roses harvests in Grasse, or the narcissus ones in Lozère as unforgettable emotions. But this doesn’t prevent him from adoring synthetic materials like aldehydes or others that remind him of raw nature. Sharp, harsh greens, from violet leaf to scented cut grass, from galbanum to triplal that he uses with extravagance. “I’m fascinated by powerful fragrant trails, short and simple formulas which get straight to the point” admits Nicolas.


No doubt because he dreamed of becoming an archaeologist, Nicolas Beaulieu is very interested in the research of unknown plants: “the distilling of new raw materials with a fragrant power no one ever even suspected is the adventure of tomorrow” he says with enthusiasm. Much aware of the work done by chemists, he also dreams of new synthetic materials made by man. Everything he needs to nourish his imagination for the years to come.